Posts Tagged ‘#songs’

This Tuesday I wanted to feature a song by a good friend of mine. “Denham Street” was written by Bob Enderle. Bob Enderle died too many years ago. He wrote a number of songs that I really like. I am not a fan of most popular music. I don’t need to hear one more song about boy loves and loses girl, or how the singer wants to party and have sex all night.

Denham Street and many other songs he wrote are about social injustices we so easily overlook and ignore. This song points out how unfair, uncaring and mean our social policies are. He makes the song sound sweet while the dark lyrics dig into our consciousness.

I did a simple recording of this song. I started with some drum tracks and I played my 12 string Ovation guitar for the main instrument track. I added strings to reinforce the guitar. Once I sang the melody I thought it would be a good song for harmony. I added the harmony vocals and listened to the rough mix a few times.

After a few times through the song I turned off the drum track and liked it better without them. I worked on it for days. I wanted to ‘do the song justice’ and make it fit the image I have from Bob’s version. Sweet tragedy.

Here are the lyrics and my version of Denham Street. I hope you enjoy.


            “Denham Street”                                                     Bob Enderle
 
Car alarms squeal on Denham Street     
Like coyotes howling at the moon.
Tattered grey men look for some place to eat
Teen age mothers search for her womb.
Street lights shattered near the playground;
Darkness hides an old routine.
Cracks in the family, crack in the hall.
 
There’s an overpass over Dehnam Street
Supporting Highway 95.
There are no exits for Denham Street
But it’s only a twenty minute drive.
To the shops with plywood windows
Through the alleys of despair
Just another wrong turn and you’re almost there.
 
To every city there is a Denham Street
And to everyone who grows up there
There are few exits from Denham Street
Fewer thoughts behind an empty stare.
Social programs lack the funding
Social consciousness has died.    
Solutions on the shelf have never been tried.     

I have been influenced by so many individuals, bands, groups and performers over the years it is quite amazing.  I was never stuck in a particular style of music.  I am not a fan of opera or deep country music or blues, for that matter (I know, that will not go over well with some of you! HA!) as I lean to the other side toward open and interpretive styles.  There are a bunch of names we all know and can pretty much agree on if you listen to rock, pop, jazz, R&B, country, etc.   But I have almost always been drawn toward the unusual but talented; the bizarre and clever; off axis dead on target!  I love bands with great vocals and harmonies.  Some of my favorites are quite popular now!  Household names sometimes, but many are just now getting recognition and others never gained much of a following……  I know what at least one feels like, LOL.

After growing up listening to the music of my parents and older brother and sister, I enjoyed groups out at the time.  No need to go over ancient influences here.  But as I was growing more and more music-aware, there were bands I really enjoyed – not just a song or two, but everything they would release.  The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Procol Harum, Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson, Steely Dan, The Police, Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock, Frank Zappa, Simon and Garfunkel, Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and others before and after them just kept getting better and better.

Today I love a lot of music, but there are very few bands or artists I love most of what they do. For most it is hit and miss.  Other groups are fairly consistent.  Just no one I go out of my way to hear every song.  Just me getting old, so no need to panic.

If you will, let me show you what has affected me growing up and songs from groups I consider the best of the best.  I will probably get to your favorite groups to, but there are just so many over the years.  As this is not a reflection of history, I will again avoid attempts to be chronologically accurate.   Buffalo Springfield was one that managed to send me a message, and it helps to remember the times and the events surrounding some of these songs and those that lead to their hit “For What It’s Worth”.